On Facebook, a voter from Siskiyou County asked me what I think of Medicare or one payer insurance for all. Am I strong enough to fight for everyone in District 1?
There is only one real solution to providing healthcare without leaving behind a lot of people, especially people in our eleven counties in District 1, and that's to:
- Extend the Medicare system to cover everyone equally
- Make sure that we define a minimum standard of care that is a fundamental part of the social contract between the American people and their government
The real question is how we're going to get there from where we stand today. We're going to have to fight really hard against the erosion of the Affordable Care Act that the Republicans are proposing, but even more critically we have to protect funding for the existing Medicare programs and not allow the huge tax cuts that the house passed in their bill last week to become a reality. California's legislature is now considering a single payer bill, and we need to protect the federal Medicaid dollars to make that a reality so that California can be a model for the rest of the country. Step by step, we’ll get there.
I know that progressives don’t have a lot of power in Congress right now, but we can do our very best to make the process as difficult as possible for the Republicans to chip away at the progress we’ve made with the Affordable Care Act. And if that doesn’t work then we’ll fight some more and make sure we’re represented in Washington in 2018. And in 2020 and beyond.
I have two sisters who purchase health insurance through Covered California, and neither of them had insurance before that program started. I also have a nephew that has care thanks to the Medicaid expansion, and my two post-college kids are able to stay on my insurance while they are starting their careers with jobs that don’t have insurance benefits. Those are all improvements to real people’s lives thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
I will keep working toward a universal coverage program for as long as it takes us to get there.
Keep asking questions by email, on Facebook, and in person. I'll be sharing more positions on a range of issues in the coming weeks.